Dallas City Councilmembers Carolyn Davis and Dwaine Caraway were absent from Sunday’s Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade, despite having RSVP’d affirmatively for the gay Pride celebration.
Eleven of 15 councilmembers, including Mayor Mike Rawlings, rode in the parade, sources at City Hall confirmed this week.
“He enjoyed it and looks forward to next year,” said Paula Blackmon, chief of staff for Rawlings, who became the third mayor in Dallas history to ride in the parade.
Councilmembers Sandy Greyson and Vonciel Jones Hill were the only two who indicated in advance they wouldn’t make the parade — Hill due to religious objections and Greyson because of a scheduling conflict.
Davis and Caraway RSVP’d saying they’d attend. But Cynthia Northcutt, a secretary for Davis, confirmed that the District 7 councilwoman wasn’t there.
“It was on her calendar,” Northcutt said. “She had another conflict. She was not in attendance.”
Northcutt said this afternoon that Davis was out of town and unavailable to discuss her absence.
David had a similar explanation in 2009, after she was criticized by a gay District 7 resident for not attending the parade: “I had personal family business,” she said then. “It’s a Sunday, and I just could not make it at the last minute, but I do support it and I’ve gone for two years.”
District 7 has a sizeable LGBT population, and openly gay candidate Casie Pierce challenged Davis in this year’s election.
Caraway, who served as mayor for several months after Tom Leppert stepped down earlier this year, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
Councilwoman Angela Hunt, who rode on the city float with her 18-month-old daughter in her lap this year, said she was surprised Caraway and his wife didn’t attend since Barbara Mallory Caraway, a state representative, is running for Congress.
In 2007, when he was ensnared in a controversy involving homophobic hip-hop lyrics, Caraway was asked by Dallas Voice why he hadn’t attended gay Pride that year. He responded rhetorically, “Was there a Cowboys game that day?”
This year, the Cowboys game began at 3 p.m. Central on Sunday, an hour after the parade stepped off. So undoubtedly Caraway was busy tailgating with Arthur and Archie.